Should Blind Canadians Not Be Able To Vote independently?

by Jeffrey Stark

April 19th, 2011

I ask why Blind Canadians are not afforded the same right to vote independently?  The recent Ontario provincial Elections showed that it can be done.   For the first time this year, during the provincial elections, I had the opportunity to cast my vote without anyone else knowing who I voted for.   This is a simple right most people take for granted.   Now, for the Federal elections, Elections Canada feels that it is ok that I have to rely instead on someone else to mark my ballot and hope they get it right, and hope they don’t spoil it, and hope they don’t tell anyone.  Providing me with a template that does not allow me to read the entries  and verify my vote is insufficient.

Why does Elections Canada feel that this level of mediocrity is acceptable?

See email from Elections Canada:

From:INFO9 [mailto:INFO9@elections.ca]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 7:01 PM
To: ‘jds.ncr@gmail.com’
Subject: Elections Canada

We thank you for your telephone call of April 11, 2011.

You will find information on the accessibility of the electoral process for electors with disabilities on our Web site. For ease of access, please use the following link: Accessibility of the Electoral System.

The Canada Elections Act states:

Subsection 154(2): The deputy returning officer shall, on request, provide a template to an elector who has a visual impairment to assist him or her in marking his or her ballot.

At this time, this is the only option for an elector with a visual impairment to vote without assistance from another person.

We invite you to access the relevant sections of the Canada Elections Act from our Web site. For ease of access, please use the following link: Canada Elections Act. Scroll down the page and under the title Part 9 , you will find Sections 154 to 175 about Special Voting Procedures.

For more information about the Canadian federal electoral system, visit our Web site (www.elections.ca) or call 1 800 463‑6868, toll‑free in Canada and the United States. Our hours of operation are from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Public Enquiries Unit

Elections Canada

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